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The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science Exhibition

Come celebrate our seas with us and dive beneath the waves of Ireland’s wild Atlantic to explore our ocean, from seashore to deep sea. Free to visitors, The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science gallery features new exhibitions on understanding climate change, research surveys at sea, and the SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay

The ocean is key to all life on Earth. It is an extraordinary and largely unexplored place, teeming with a fascinating array of plants and animals. These, together with currents and natural systems, shape our planet.  The importance of the ocean to Ireland is immense – it provides food, employment and pleasure, while also influencing our climate, weather and well-being. We are an island nation with one of the largest seabed territories in Europe.

The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science gallery at Galway City Museum

What to see

Ireland’s rocky coastlines and sandy shores are full of marine life. Explore some of the creatures that that can be found in the sand, amongst the seaweed, and under rocks.

Knowing more about our ocean is crucial to better understanding climate change. Find out more about the impacts of climate change and how scientists observe how our ocean is changing.

Crab recorded by Galway Bay SmartBay Observatory (left) and orange brisingids on coral courtesy of the Marine Institute Galway (right).

Ireland’s marine research vessels are at sea over 300 days of the year. Discover more about surveys at sea, from fisheries research to ocean climate studies.

The Galway Bay SmartBay Observatory is one of Ireland’s national marine research facilities. The monitoring sensors provide marine scientists with real-time data 24 hours a day, and the video camera has even recorded a variety of fish, seals, crabs, and even squid in Galway Bay! See what species you can spot in this exhibition.

In the Remotely Operated Vehicle Simulator, explore ocean depths like a marine scientist and discover cold-water corals, shipwrecks and a rare shark nursery.

Research Vessel Celtic Explorer 2017, Marine Institute. Photo: Maura Hickey (left).  Man caught by waves a Salthill, Galway at high tide. Photo: Andrew Downes (right).

During Galway Science and Technology Festival, visitors to the exhibition can pick up a free Children’s Activity Book to continue exploring the marine world from home.

The Wild Atlantic Sea Science exhibition is a partnership between Galway City Museum and the Marine Institute. The exhibition first opened in 2017 and includes visual displays accessible in both English and as Gaeilge.  The Marine Institute is the state agency with responsibility for marine research and development in Ireland.

Visit the exhibition to learn more, book your free ticket HERE.



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